Blog of Rights

Cassandra
Stubbs

Cassy Stubbs is the director of the ACLU Capital Punishment Project. Cassy joined the project in 2006 and since then has served as lead and associate counsel on behalf of death row inmates and defendants in trials and appeals throughout the South, including Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee. Her clients have included Levon "Bo" Jones, a North Carolina death row inmate who was exonerated in 2008 when the state dismissed all charges against him, and Richard C. Taylor, a severely mentally ill man who was sentenced to death after a sham trial in Tennessee, but who won a new trial on appeal and was subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment.

Cassy has also worked with numerous organizations and ACLU affiliates to file amicus briefs in capital cases in state and federal courts around the country. She has written policy papers, editorials and blog posts on a wide range of capital issues, such as the persistence of racial disparities in capital punishment and the fundamental flaws of purported claims that the death penalty deters future murders.

Wrongful Convictions, Wrongful Bias

Wrongful Convictions, Wrongful Bias

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 9:55am

The most important payment we can make on the debt we owe to wrongfully convicted defendants is to break the link between race and the death penalty.

Getting It Dead Wrong for 30 Years

Getting It Dead Wrong for 30 Years

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 1:19pm

According to Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, Henry Lee McCollum deserved to die for the brutal rape and murder of 11-year-old Sabrina Buie. There's just one problem, and a frequent one in death penalty cases: Henry Lee McCollum didn't do it.

Instead…

Serial and What It Says About America's Criminal Justice System

Serial and What It Says About America's Criminal Justice System

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 3:57pm

Serial, the pop culture podcast phenomenon, isn't just a well-produced and addictive listening experience (though it is both of those things). By questioning the validity of some criminal justice procedures and educating its listeners to ask questions,…

Oklahoma Plays Torture Roulette With Lethal Injection

Oklahoma Plays Torture Roulette With Lethal Injection

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project & Anna Arceneaux, Staff Attorney, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 1:32pm

The logical response to Clayton Lockett's bloody, pain-filled, unconstitutional execution in Oklahoma eight months ago would be to prevent such torture from happening again. But Oklahoma has another idea for its first execution since Lockett's. Instead…

Scott Panetti

Texas Wants to Kill This Mentally Ill Man

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 11:47am

Wearing a cowboy costume and a purple bandana, Scott Panetti defended himself at his capital trial in Texas without counsel, where he tried to call the Pope, J.F.K, and Jesus Christ to the witness stand. In Tennessee, Richard Taylor represented himself…

Failed Experiments: Stop All Lethal Injections Now

Failed Experiments: Stop All Lethal Injections Now

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 5:21pm

Assurances about lethal injection rest on the premise that inmates are sedated and unconscious before other excruciating drugs are administered. The horrifying experiences of recent executions make clear these assurances are false. The drugs used in…

The Dred Scott of Our Time

The Dred Scott of Our Time

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 11:09am

This Sunday marks the 25th anniversary of the Supreme Court's decision that a defendant cannot rely upon statistical evidence of racial bias to prove his death sentence unconstitutional.

In the Battle of Racial Bias vs. Racial Justice in North Carolina, Governor Insists on Bias

In the Battle of Racial Bias vs. Racial Justice in North Carolina, Governor Insists on Bias

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 1:32pm

For just over three years, it looked like North Carolina was going to pull out in front of states that still have the death penalty...

Sweeping Ruling about Racial Bias in Capital Jury Selection Shows the Need for Sweeping Reforms

Sweeping Ruling about Racial Bias in Capital Jury Selection Shows the Need for Sweeping Reforms

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 2:47pm

Last week, North Carolina state Judge Gregory Weeks issued a sweeping ruling setting aside the death sentences of three North Carolina prisoners...

Justice Under Attack: The North Carolina Legislature Takes Aim at the Racial Justice Act

Justice Under Attack: The North Carolina Legislature Takes Aim at the Racial Justice Act

By Cassandra Stubbs, Director, ACLU Capital Punishment Project at 4:01pm

In 2009, North Carolina made history by becoming the first state to pass a law that addressed the systemic problems of racial discrimination in jury selection in capital cases. In the three years since the Racial Justice Act (RJA) was enacted, this…

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